As the final countdown approached I became as desperate as my baby daughter for the magical 3 to appear on the clock. The inconsolable crying became puckered with small pauses.
As I sat in the recliner in the lounge with my almost settled baby I hear the night time waking’s of my 2 year old, crying out for someone to reassure her. Cast as I am, I can only sadly listen to her as no-one else wakes and goes to soothe her.
Eventually my baby appeared to nod off. As 3am came on the clock I slowly righted my chair and crept back to bed with my highly sensitive cargo in my arms knowing that should she wake I was now permitted to feed her. Gently I lay her in her cot, but alas she stirred and screamed. Quickly, I picked her up and calmed her. Again, I slowly lowered her into her cot contorting myself as best I could to minimise the transition. As I lay her down, muscle by muscle, I felt her stir. She began to cry so, paused in the act, with one arm still lodged beneath her, I jiggled and shh’d her. Thankfully she calmed and I was able to slowly extract my remaining arm. I softly jiggled her for another moment and crept out of the bedroom to retrieve my pillow from the lounge.
As baby is finally put to bed my 2 year old begins to settle and peace is restored to the night. Only the monotonous tick, tick, tick of the clock can be heard above the hum of the refrigerator and the artificial sounds of the sea playing through the baby monitor.
In the dark, time seems to slow, especially with a desperately distressed baby crying in my ear, clawing at my face and sobbing on my chest/shoulder. How can such a tranquil time be so disturbed? The hollow sounds of the night are punctuated with the crescendo of tears cascading from my little ones’ face as she wrestles with the concept of no more 2 hourly feeds through the night. How easy it would be to just give in to the agony of us both and feed her. It becomes such a lonely place, the night, when the cold creeps in and you are torn between asleep and awake, easy and hard, short term and long term. The sleep consultant says “it will be hard at 2am” – damn straight, “but keep your eye on the prize” – sleeping through from late feed to at least 3/4am. Oh how I dream of such a lofty goal. Doing so is almost proving to be the death of our marriage as husband just grumpily tells me to feed her and I just storm out of the bedroom stating “no”.
So, alone in the voyage from dusk till dawn I am able to loudly contemplate my thoughts. Almost beating at my brain I am compelled to write them down as if in some way I have a companion on my journey, supporting me and reassuring me that it can and will be done. Time. It will take time. Blood, sweat and tears too – lots of tears, not just hers but also mine.